#CyberFLASH: List of protests tracked by government includes vigil, ‘peace demonstration’

hi-bc-archive-surveillance-camerasOTTAWA — What do Canadian veterans, advocates for the disabled and the country’s largest union have in common? Their activities were monitored and reported on by police and government agencies over the last year.

Documents show the central Government Operations Centre received reports on more than 160 protests, community events, and demonstrations between May 2014 and February 2015. The RCMP, Public Safety Canada, and the Privy Council Office prepared reports for the GOC — which co-ordinates the federal government’s response to national emergencies and natural disasters.

While much of the monitoring focused on First Nations causes and environmental activism, the GOC showed a diverse set of interests, including:

• A rally on Parliament Hill pushing for better benefits for Canadian veterans.

• A “die-in” protesting police brutality against black Americans, including vigils for Ferguson, Mo. shooting victim Michael Brown organized by the Black Lives Matter movement.

• An event called “Paddle for Peace” in Fort St. Jean, B.C., where the report noted “public order issues are not expected.”

• Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care’s national day of action.

• An “interfaith peace demonstration” in Mississauga.

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